Cauldron will be relit

Updated: January 15, 2005, 8:18 PM ET
Associated Press

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Mike Eruzione wouldn't miss it for the world. Neither would Jim Craig, Scott Hamilton, Linda Fratianne nor the Mahre brothers.

Celebrating the Lake Placid Winter Olympics of 1980 and the miraculous performances of the U.S. hockey team or speedskater Eric Heiden never gets old.

Just ask the governor.

"It was just one of the most exciting moments I can remember," George Pataki said Friday in announcing a two-week 25th anniversary celebration slated to start in mid-February. "You talk to people in Lake Placid and they still remember it like it happened yesterday.

"It still obviously means a great deal to Lake Placid and the entire North Country, and America as well."

Craig, the goaltender and teammate to Eruzione on the gold-medal-winning U.S. Olympic hockey team, will kick off the festivities by re-lighting the original cauldron on Feb. 12. Figure skaters Hamilton and Fratianne and alpine skiers Phil and Steve Mahre also will participate in activities.

Hackl wins 33rd luge race
IGLS, Austria -- German veteran Georg Hackl won his 33rd luge World Cup event Saturday to join Austrian Markus Prock atop the career list.

Hackl, who also won last year on the Olympic track, finished with a combined time of 1 minute, 37.553 seconds for the two runs. Austria's Markus Kleinheinz (1:37.721) was second, and Italian Armin Zoeggeler (1:37.818) finished third.

The 38-year-old Hackl also won gold at the world championships eight years ago on the same track.

Kleinheinz closed in on World Cup leader Albert Demtchenko of Russia in the overall standings. The Russian had a bad day, making mistakes in both runs and finishing sixth.

After seven of nine races, Demtchenko leads with 529 points. Kleinheinz has 453, and Germany's David Moeller is third with 441.

Mayer, Heil capture moguls titles
LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Olympic silver medalist Travis Mayer won the first World Cup moguls contest of his career Saturday, and defending World Cup champion Jennifer Heil won the women's event.

Mayer, of Steamboat Springs, Colo., received 26.71 points from the judges at Whiteface Mountain as he took the World Cup points lead. Moguls world champion Mikko Ronkainen of Finland took second with 26.40 points and Canadian Marc-Andre Moreau finished third with 26.19.

"That was the hole in my career and now I've filled it," Mayer said.

Heil, of Canada, had 25.70 points with Czech Nikola Sudova coming in second with 25.22. Michelle Roark of Denver took third with 24.37 points.

Cheek glides to speedskating win
CALGARY, Alberta -- Joey Cheek of the United States won the 500 meters in a World Cup speedskating event Saturday.

Cheek finished in 34.81 seconds to beat Japanese skaters Yuya Oikawa and Joji Kato.

Erben Wennemars of the Netherlands won the 1,000 in 1:08.26, edging Masaaki Kobayashi of Japan and Gerard van Velde of the Netherlands.

In the women's 500, Manli Wang of China lost for the first time this season, finishing fourth. Tomomi Okazaki of Japan won in 37.73. Chiara Simionato of Italy won the women's 1,000 in 1:14.89.

Freestyle race results
NOVE MESTO, Czech Republic -- Vincent Vittoz of France and Katerina Neumannova of the Czech Republic won World Cup freestyle races Saturday.

Vittoz defeated Christian Hoffmann of Austria by 4.4 seconds to win the men's 15-kilometer event, his third victory of the season. The Frenchman is second in the overall standings with 434 points, 90 behind leader Axel Teichmann of Germany, who finished 24th.

Tobias Angerer of Germany was third, 9.6 seconds behind the winner, and another German, Rene Sommerfeldt, moved to third overall with 294 points following his fifth-place finish.

Neumannova earned her 13th career World Cup victory -- her first in front of a home crowd. She beat World Cup leader Marit Bjoergen of Norway by 7.7 seconds.

"It's a big thing to win at home and I'm very happy," Neumannova said. "I had a slower start ... but was strong at the finish."

Julia Tchepalova of Russia finished third, 13.6 seconds behind Neumannova.

Neumannova is third in the overall standings with 407 points after 10 races. Bjoergen still comfortably leads with 790 points. Estonia's Kristina Smigun, who was seventh Saturday, is second with 516.

Widhoelzl wins ski flying
BAD MITTERNDORF, Austria -- Austria's Andreas Widhoelzl won a World Cup ski flying event for his first victory in more than two years.

Norway's Roar Loekelsoey, last year's ski flying world champion, was second and Poland's Adam Malysz was third. Finland's Janne Ahonen, the runaway World Cup leader, is recovering from the flu and didn't compete.

Ski flying is contested off unusually big hills, with the jumpers covering great distances.

Widhoelzl recorded the 18th victory of his career. He soared 206.5 meters in the second round on the Kulm hill, the longest jump of the day, and won with a total of 398.3 points. Loekelsoey had 396.0 points and Malysz 393.9.

"I've been working hard for this and now I'm rewarded," Widhoelzl said. "I already felt great yesterday, but it was a perfect day today."

Ahonen leads the standings with 1,260 points, followed by Austria's Martin Hoellwarth (717) and the Czech Republic's Jakub Janda (672).

Einar wins biathlon
RUHPOLDING, Germany -- Four-time Olympic champion Ole Einar Bjoerndalen of Norway won a World Cup biathlon event, using his speed in cross-country skiing to edge Raphael Poiree of France in a 10-kilometer sprint.

He finished in 23 minutes, 46.9 seconds for his 46th biathlon World Cup victory. Poiree, the World Cup overall leader, was 3.6 seconds behind. Italy's Rene Laurent Vuillermoz was 25.9 seconds back in third. His best previous finish was 11th two years ago.

Bjoerndalen missed a target in the shooting while Poiree's shooting was flawless. The Norwegian overcame his penalty round by using his cross-country skills to gain more than 30 seconds.

Bjoerndalen, off to a slow start this year, moved to third in the overall standings with 333 points. Poiree leads with 472, followed by Germany's Sven Fischer with 400.

Bjoerndalen plans a limited biathlon schedule leading to the March world championships and compete in cross-country races instead.

Kraus, Iljans win ski cross races
POZZA DI FASSA, Italy -- Tomas Kraus of the Czech Republic and Magdalena Iljans of Sweden won World Cup ski cross races.

Kraus captured his second consecutive ski cross race and strengthened his lead in the freestyle standings. France's Simon Bastelica was second and Italy's Karl Heinz Molling was third.

Kraus has 226 points after three races, followed Austria's Isidor Gruener at 205. Gruener was fifth Saturday.

Among the women, Ophelie David of France leads the standings with 280 points from two wins and a second. Karin Huttary of Austria is second at 147 and Iljans moved to third at 145.

The next World Cup ski cross is at Kreischberg, Austria, on Jan. 21.

Carta wins 500-meter final

TURIN, Italy -- Italy's Fabio Carta edged Germany's Arian Nachbar to win the 500-meter final at the European short track speedskating championships and avenge an opening-night defeat.

Russia's Tatiana Borodulina captured the women's 500, beating Italy's Marta Capurso and Bulgaria's Evgenia Radanova.

The three-day championships at the renovated Palavela indoor rink inaugurated test events for the 2006 Winter Olympics. There will be test events next week at bobsled and cross-country venues.

Carta lost the 1,500-meter final to Nachbar on Friday when he raised his arms in triumph too soon. This time, he took the gold in the 500 in 43.010 seconds. Nachbar was second in 43.103 and Mikhail Rajine of Russia was third in 45.186.

Carta and Nachbar share the standings lead after two events with 55 points each.

Among the women, Borodulina was timed in 45.840. Radanova, who won Friday's 1,500, leads the standings with 47 points, with Capurso second at 42.

Sunday's races feature the 1,000, 3,000 and relay finals.


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press

ALSO SEE